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Old school guy looking for ski suggestions

Old Duderino

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Hi,

I've lurked for awhile here and now that I'm looking to get back into skiing again I wanted to ask for ski buying advice since I'm a few generations behind the technology curve. My background is as follows:

I skied often growing up and after college spent the three best years of my skiing life in Park City. This was circa mid-80's and the last pair of skis I bought were a pair of 205 cm Fisher RC4s which still reside somewhere in my garage. I was never a multi-ski quiver guy and tended to favor a quick turning GS ski, even in bumps. I left Utah and settled down to raise a family in the DC area and would be lucky to get two weeks per year of skiing in CO or UT on vacations. The family commitments and lack of anything worth skiing in this area kept me from hitting the local hills for years. Around the end of the 90's a guy I worked with introduced me to snowboarding and that got me back to the local hills more often. Eventually, my kids got older and they quickly turned to snowboarding over skiing and between the family CO trips and local riding days we got closer to about three weeks per year. I'm not planning to give up snowboarding entirely but now that we're hitting the mountains more I want to get back on skis, particularly for the trips west.

I've got the boots part figured out but the skis and ski lengths have me somewhat baffled. I know the lengths are a lot shorter but I also understand there is a range that varies depending on the skis you chose. I want a ski that holds an edge well, won't chatter on groomers which I'll probably spend the majority of my time on with my snowboarding kids, but can turn quickly and handle a steep and tight chute or trees. I used to like a stiff ski even in bumps so I would ski bumps with them but it wouldn't need to be a bump ski per-se. It also doesn't have to be a true powder ski but I don't want it to be a pig in the pow either. Although I'd mostly ski out west with them I'd probably split my time evenly between snowboarding and skiing in the east. I'm 51 years old, 6' 1" 175 lbs. and stay in good shape.

I'm going with new boots, Salomon Quest 110's, but looking for used skis somewhere in the $250-$450 range. I may not buy skis at all this year and demo them until I figure out what I really want but I don't like dealing with shops when I get to the mountain and with ski-swaps coming up I wanted to get an idea of what I might snag if it comes along. So if you have an idea of what ski might suit me, please also suggest a length. Thanks in advance.
 

Savemeasammy

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Demo skis. If you have a shop that is local to you, you may be able to pick the skis up the day before.


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Edd

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Demoing is expensive, given your price range, although if you can catch an event than it'll be much cheaper. It sounds like you're looking for an all-mountain ski. There are such a ridiculous amount of good choices, it's tough to recommend particular models because certain brands have their own feel; and you've been out of the game for awhile so your preferences are difficult to ascertain. One skier's dream ski feels like a plank to another. Hence, the value of demoing.

I'd recommend posting this on the Barking Bears Forum if you haven't yet. There's a huge pool of expert gear knowledge on that site due to the number of members. Alpine Zone is great if you're a northeast based ski dork but it's a small community by comparison.
 

Savemeasammy

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I demoed skis from a place in Keene. The demos were free.


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Edd

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I demoed skis from a place in Keene. The demos were free.


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Typical prices are anywhere from $35 to $50. They will deduct that cost if you buy the ski. You can often try from 3 pairs to unlimited within the timeframe of one day.
 

Savemeasammy

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Typical prices are anywhere from $35 to $50. They will deduct that cost if you buy the ski. You can often try from 3 pairs to unlimited within the timeframe of one day.

I expect this place is the exception to the rule... They only offered demos in the low/mid 160's, which was too short for me, but it was nice to try a few things..


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Highway Star

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Hi,

I've lurked for awhile here and now that I'm looking to get back into skiing again I wanted to ask for ski buying advice since I'm a few generations behind the technology curve. My background is as follows:

I skied often growing up and after college spent the three best years of my skiing life in Park City. This was circa mid-80's and the last pair of skis I bought were a pair of 205 cm Fisher RC4s which still reside somewhere in my garage. I was never a multi-ski quiver guy and tended to favor a quick turning GS ski, even in bumps. I left Utah and settled down to raise a family in the DC area and would be lucky to get two weeks per year of skiing in CO or UT on vacations. The family commitments and lack of anything worth skiing in this area kept me from hitting the local hills for years. Around the end of the 90's a guy I worked with introduced me to snowboarding and that got me back to the local hills more often. Eventually, my kids got older and they quickly turned to snowboarding over skiing and between the family CO trips and local riding days we got closer to about three weeks per year. I'm not planning to give up snowboarding entirely but now that we're hitting the mountains more I want to get back on skis, particularly for the trips west.

I've got the boots part figured out but the skis and ski lengths have me somewhat baffled. I know the lengths are a lot shorter but I also understand there is a range that varies depending on the skis you chose. I want a ski that holds an edge well, won't chatter on groomers which I'll probably spend the majority of my time on with my snowboarding kids, but can turn quickly and handle a steep and tight chute or trees. I used to like a stiff ski even in bumps so I would ski bumps with them but it wouldn't need to be a bump ski per-se. It also doesn't have to be a true powder ski but I don't want it to be a pig in the pow either. Although I'd mostly ski out west with them I'd probably split my time evenly between snowboarding and skiing in the east. I'm 51 years old, 6' 1" 175 lbs. and stay in good shape.

I'm going with new boots, Salomon Quest 110's, but looking for used skis somewhere in the $250-$450 range. I may not buy skis at all this year and demo them until I figure out what I really want but I don't like dealing with shops when I get to the mountain and with ski-swaps coming up I wanted to get an idea of what I might snag if it comes along. So if you have an idea of what ski might suit me, please also suggest a length. Thanks in advance.

You should be able to find new advanced-expert level skis with bindings for under $500 if you shop around. Used skis are not worth it unless they are nearly mint condition and already mounted to fit your boot size, and you get a good deal. Stay away from demo skis, because they include demo bindings that are heavier and taller than normal bindings.

At your size, preferences, skiing east/west, you're going to want a midfat, 90-100mm waist, 20-25m radius sidecut, 180-185cm, slight tip rocker and possibly tail rocker, race/sidewall construction (not cap) with metal, and flat/direct mounted bindings (not system bindings). This is a great all around ski type that can go from fast icy groomer to trees, chutes and powder, and handle some bump skiing. You should be able to get the skis online or a pre-season sale for about $350 and bindings for $150. A quality setup like this will not be outdated anytime soon and should last well over 100 ski days.
 

neonleonbst

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Hey Duderino, you might be able to find the Nordica Steadfast (90mm underfoot) or Hell and Backs (98mm so slightly wider more pow hungry, stable but slower edge to edge) on the cheap. These skis rock, they're light and responsive and even though they are all-wood they rail on edge and are quite stable. Great ski but they've just finished their cycle making way for the new NRGY line that will replace them. You should go longer actually because of rocker technology in almost every ski these days. The tips stay off the snow when in powder or not fully engaged in a turn. This helps at the end of the day and in tight situations the ski is more manageable. Because it "shortens up" you size larger than the old parabolic skis but shorter than the older straight skis. Again it's all in your ski style go longer if you're on groomers most of the time shorter if you want to swing through the bumps and trees easier.
 

Highway Star

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Hey Duderino, you might be able to find the Nordica Steadfast (90mm underfoot) or Hell and Backs (98mm so slightly wider more pow hungry, stable but slower edge to edge) on the cheap. These skis rock, they're light and responsive and even though they are all-wood they rail on edge and are quite stable. Great ski but they've just finished their cycle making way for the new NRGY line that will replace them. You should go longer actually because of rocker technology in almost every ski these days. The tips stay off the snow when in powder or not fully engaged in a turn. This helps at the end of the day and in tight situations the ski is more manageable. Because it "shortens up" you size larger than the old parabolic skis but shorter than the older straight skis. Again it's all in your ski style go longer if you're on groomers most of the time shorter if you want to swing through the bumps and trees easier.

Agree, he should watch for a deal on the 185cm Hell and Back for $350-$400 in the next month, great all around choice.
 

neonleonbst

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Agree with the staying away from demos as well unless you can inspect them for yourself or can bring your boots and see if they will be compatible to your height weight skier type and boot length.
 

Savemeasammy

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I am not advocating buying demo skis. But if you haven't owned anything since the straight-ski days, I think it's worthwhile to try a few different things. You can experiment with different widths, rocker, etc.


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dlague

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If you are comfortable researching on your own I would check out www,evo.com - this is where my family buys most of our gear. Even if you find it cheaper else where the price march and take off an additional 10%. Some of he skis suggested are good considerations for sure. I will check out what they have and post back!


.......
 

levy1

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There's a lot of us older guys that used to ski the long skis at your weight. Many of us her on a 177 if you like it stiff ski and you can do bumps trees and you want something that wilI also be rock solid at crusing speed I would go with the Kendo 177 from what you told me you can't go wrong with this ski.
 

gmcunni

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I am not advocating buying demo skis. But if you haven't owned anything since the straight-ski days, I think it's worthwhile to try a few different things. You can experiment with different widths, rocker, etc.


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my first year back to skiing after a hiatus, at which time "shaped" skis came out, i did 3 things which i'd recommend:

1. seasonal rental of shaped skis from a local shop where i could talk to the guy and get his best guess a good match for me. go early so you have best possible selection. you might pay a bit more for a better ski but probalby worth it. and if you have your own boots they'll adjust the bindings to match.
2. hit up "free" demos of other skis during the season to get a feel for differences in the various brands/ models.
3. take a lesson early in the season. mechanics of a turn on "new" skis is different.. you can certainly ski any way you like but if you want the skis to perform the way they were intended you might want to pick up a few tips. (cheap group lesson in the afternoon for intermediate skiers = private or semi-private lesson)
 

neonleonbst

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Kendos circa 2011-12 have no rocker as well if you want to keep a no frills traditional camber feel. If you're talking rocker Kendo the Blizzard Brahma is better imho. Just hold onto your bibs. Icelantic Pilgrim is also a traditional camber ski no rocker but it doesn't have metal still pretty stiff but poppy and a touch more forgiving, if you can get over the 2014/15 puffin graphics.

Ski on

Leon
 

Old Duderino

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Thanks for all the suggestions, good stuff. So based on what I've read here and some other forums (lurked on barking bears) I should stay away from demos, look for mid-fat (90-100) and the over/under for length would be 185-ish on a rocker or 180 or less on traditional camber. I'm sure whatever I got would feel great at first (I remember those first generation parabolic skis and it seemed like cheating to me because they were so easy to turn) but I may eventually get the itch for something completely different. I've gone through that to some extent with snowboards but my current one board quiver does enough right for me to keep me happy and it seems I should be able to get the same or better with skis.

Those Nordica Steadfast and Hell & Backs just got added to my search list and I was aware of the Kendos and Brahmas so I've looked at those too. Unless I missed it a couple that haven't been mentioned in this thread but come up in other forums are the Bonafide and Rossi E88. Anyone have any thoughts on either of those? Also, what is a good $150-$200 binding. My budget is fairly flexible if I can find a great deal and I haven't ruled out the option of not pulling the trigger on skis until I try several out.
 

neonleonbst

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E88 is heavy and more of a wide front side ski. I'd go Brahma e88 Kendo in that heavier 90mm ski category. E88 is better than the Steadfast on the groomers and the tip is fairly wide to offset it's weight but you wouldn't want to take either out in more than 8in of snow. I'd check out the rossi sin 7 though, much better in softer snow and through trees than those nordicas due to a wider tip and pintail but you do sacrifice a little edge hold. The Bonifide 98mm and Brahma 88mm (made for Cannon) are your quiver killers. They're a blast and will do everything well but they have 2.5 sheets of metal in them so they like to go fast and you need to push the ski to get the most out of it. The steadfast sin 7 and he'll and back are all wood so you won't go as fast but they're responsive and poppy skis.
 
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drjeff

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The key thing to remember, which is unlike the ski manufacturing industry of your 80's vintage memories, is that nowadays there are so many manufacturers making so many good skis that it isn't like it used to be where there often was a couple of "go to" hot skis a year and a bunch of unremarkable stuff. There's just so many models from so many manufacturers that are so close in quality, versatility and performance to choose from that trying out a few pairs to see how a few mm's difference in width here or there or some slight differences in turn radius or flex work for YOUR skiing style
 

Highway Star

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Thanks for all the suggestions, good stuff. So based on what I've read here and some other forums (lurked on barking bears) I should stay away from demos, look for mid-fat (90-100) and the over/under for length would be 185-ish on a rocker or 180 or less on traditional camber. I'm sure whatever I got would feel great at first (I remember those first generation parabolic skis and it seemed like cheating to me because they were so easy to turn) but I may eventually get the itch for something completely different. I've gone through that to some extent with snowboards but my current one board quiver does enough right for me to keep me happy and it seems I should be able to get the same or better with skis.

Those Nordica Steadfast and Hell & Backs just got added to my search list and I was aware of the Kendos and Brahmas so I've looked at those too. Unless I missed it a couple that haven't been mentioned in this thread but come up in other forums are the Bonafide and Rossi E88. Anyone have any thoughts on either of those? Also, what is a good $150-$200 binding. My budget is fairly flexible if I can find a great deal and I haven't ruled out the option of not pulling the trigger on skis until I try several out.

The 187cm bonafide is my main all around ski, great choice, but tough to get a good deal on since they normally sell through very well.

Assuming you don't need binding with a max DIN over 14, my three top choices are the Salomon STH2 WTR 13, Marker Griffon, and Look Pivot 14 / Rossignol FKS 140. All can be had for under $200 if you get a good deal, but Salomon is going to be the easiest to get cheaply. I personally think the look/rossi is the best and have multiple pairs of the older version in 18 din.

http://www.evo.com/alpine-ski-bindi...on-sth2-13-ski-bindings-2014-silver-black.jpg

BTW, here is one of the better deals I've seen lately, since you're looking for a package - new high end ski for $425 with bindings. Get the 184.

http://www.evo.com/mashups/dynastar-cham-97-skis-look-px-12-bindings.aspx
 
Last edited:

Old Duderino

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Thanks for everyone input, I just pulled the trigger on a pair of new '14 Rossi Sin 7 188's for $350. I came close to pulling it a couple of weeks ago on a new pair of '13 Nordica Hell & Back 185's for $270 but they were gone before I was ready. Finding deals on skis in the right size seemed to be the biggest challenge. That just leaves a binding purchase but I'm not in any particular hurry to snatch those up. Can't wait for the season to start.
 
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